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How To Choose A Financial Planner

Are you in the need of a reliable personal financial planner, an expert who can help you on matters regarding budgeting, investments, estate, insurance and other related factors?

There are plenty of financial planners out there that offer sound advice, but most of the time they will only try to sell you different kinds of financial products. Avoid these types of people by knowing how to choose a financial planner. Here are some tips.

* Set Your Goals – Before looking for a planner, be clear on your objectives and life goals first. Are you hoping to capital a finance a career change? Saving up for a comfortable retirement, a home or your kids’ college education? Knowing what specific financial aspects or query you need to focus on helps you narrow down your planner choices.

* Recommendations – Ask your trusted fellow businessmen, friends and colleagues for references and recommendations. Those who has been in the business for a long time can give you several names.

* Interviewing – Don’t settle on the first planner you find. Instead, inquire and interview three potential planners. Make sure the planner takes in account the debt side of your equation, and understands it fully.

* Financial Firm – Decide on whether you just need a local office or a full-service national financial firm. National firms usually have big-name investment analysts and researchers that generate their own opinions. The more services they give the higher overhead covered, and the bigger the fee given to the clients.

* Credentials – The financial planner’s credentials say a lot about his or her efficiency. Certified ones have surely passed exams that cover numerous financial topics. There are also others that have designations in various fields, like insurance and investment. To verify that a certain financial planner is trustworthy and reliable, contact American Financial Planners to see a list of different planners’ credentials, and the organizations that provided them.

* Planner Fees – Compensation for the planner is always an important factor. Be aware of how you will have to pay. Some individuals charge a flat fee for a financial plan, while others just sell products on a commission basis. If his or her fee is a bit too steep, see if you can properly negotiate.

* Planner’s Philosophy – Orient yourself with the planner’s philosophy. There are some that are very aggressive when it comes to investing, while others are very conservative. Since its your money, the planner must be decent enough to create a plan that fits you and your needs comfortably.

* Credentials – A good financial planner is always willing to prove that he or she is efficient and trustworthy. Ask for references from other clients, especially those who have the same financial needs as you do. If the planner makes excuses and talks about “confidentiality”, find another one who’s willing.

* Communication – Discuss how you’re going to maintain contact with your planner. Will he or she give phone calls, faxes or e-mail updates? Will things be summed up in quarterly reports? When there’s a financial downturn, will the planner give reassurance and feedback, or will you have to make the first move?

A Few More Tips

* Some planners are part of a bigger firm. For aspects like insurance and taxes, ask if there are cases when you’ll have to be handed over to another planner. There are some people who prefer to just have one planner to take care of all their financial dealings.

* Ask if there are charges for phone questions and consultations.

* Opt for a fee-based planner, since they are more objective. Planners paid on a commission will try to talk you into investing in products that yields them compensation, and won’t put your best interests first.

Getting yourself in a financial mess is one of the most dangerous problems you can encounter in life. After all, nobody wants to put their hard-earned money at risk. Choose a good financial planner with the tips above in mind. You’ll be rest assured your finances are always in good hands.

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